Finally a reporter seems to be connecting the dots on Sunni insurgents strategy to fight on forever.
They gun down election officials in the middle of the street on a Sunny afternoon and tell other election officials their next. They spread the word that anyone who votes on election day will be killed. Many Sunnis no doubt want to vote but won't. The insurgents justify their actions and their terror by blaming the American boggy man and his puppet election. The election will choose an assembly that will draft the Constitution to govern the new government. But, by the design of the Sunni insurgents there will be no elected Sunnis to participate. Therefore they cannot honor the new government because it is now the new boogy man. Illegitimate because the Americans kept the Sunni people from Voting. They must fight on!
Today, in the Christian Science Monitor, the dots have been connected.
With growing tension between Iraq's majority Shiites and the Sunni Arab minority who have always dominated the country's government, low Sunni participation come election day is likely to further divide, rather than unite, Iraq's two most important constituencies. Further division, in the worst case, could nudge Iraq closer to civil war.So, increasingly there is talk of delaying the elections.
The leading Sunni political parties are now positioning themselves to reject the vote and its consequence - the writing of a new constitution - as unfair. If there is high turnout among the country's Shiites, as expected, that assembly will be packed with Shiite politicians who suffered mightily under Saddam Hussein's Sunni regime and could write a constitution that emphasizes majority rights at the expense of minorities.
Many worry this could lead to sectarian conflict. A largely Shiite government, vested with the sovereignty that an election lends, will be fighting a largely Sunni insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis in recent months.
"The Americans have set this up in such a way that a lot is at stake after this election,'' says Juan Cole, a professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan. "If the Sunnis are grossly underrepresented in this constitutional constituent assembly, it will be set up for a guerrilla war that lasts for decades."
The violence, and the likelihood that many Sunni Arabs won't vote, prompted Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan to tell reporters in Cairo that an election delay might be possible if the government grows convinced it will lead to more Sunni participation....And the delay won't help because the goal of the minority Sunnis is to never legitimize a Shiite dominated government.
A delay would also carry risks, since it could prompt anger and violence among Shiites, who expect the election to be their path to power.
It's a complete disaster and the Bushies don't know what to do. There plan was to have an election, declare victory and just leave.
But the insurgents have other ideas. The Bushies know now they can't win an insurgent war (hell, they can't even take back Falluja) and they will be internationally humiliated when there is massive bloodshed on election day. If they put the election off it will be simply to delay the humiliation, but delay is all that it will do, and they know it.
They want out bad and have finally figured out there is no way out.
As any student of history knows, you can't impose a government on a people from the outside.
What complete fools.
Thanks to Tim A for pointing me to the CSM story.